Few are more exposed than the vast numbers of men, women and children driven to run for their lives by war, violence and persecution. Over 65.6 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced at the end of 2016 — and many are in desperate need of protection.
The horrors and hardships they have experienced may be difficult to forget. But when given the opportunity to work and learn, they can find new hope in the wake of so much loss.
On World Humanitarian Day 2017 — and every day — we call on world leaders to remember that people displaced by conflict and persecution are #NotATarget. They have rights, dignity and talents worth investing in.
Bosco tends to refugees and locals alike at a hospital at Nakivale settlement. When his own health crisis struck, his colleagues were there for him.
“Saving lives is a huge responsibility,” says Bosco, who fled violence in Burundi and works as a nurse — even as he copes with his own case of cancer. “This is what I always wanted to do and I wouldn’t change my job for anything.”
A workshop has taken on six skilled refugee women with experience in the fashion industry and helped them to find their feet in Frankfurt.
“You could say I am stitching my life together again,” says Reyhane Heidari, an Afghan seamstress who likes to mix Afghan and European styles. “Yes, that’s how it feels.”
Arriving in Canada as refugee was overwhelming for Osman Ali, but now he has found his feet and is determined to help others.
“Like every other young man, I wanted to change the world,” says Osman, who came to Canada nearly 40 years ago. And he has done just that, by teaching newcomers how to succeed.
Mojtaba Tavakoli, who arrived in Austria as a child with just an elementary education, is about to begin a doctorate in medical research.
“I have seen things that people twice my age have not seen,” says Mojtaba, who fled violence in Afghanistan. “This makes me strict with myself to use my opportunities and make my family proud.”
Living in a Thai refugee camp in 1980, Trung Pham found solace in the pages of his sketchbook. Today, in Canada, his work records that flight from danger.
“I want to make sculptures that we can look at, so people can remember any day, any time,” says Trung, who has exhibited widely in his adopted homeland. “It lasts forever.”